Do you want to try the latest version of Ubuntu on your computer without installing it? Want to create an Ubuntu Live USB but not sure how to prepare the same on a PC running Windows 10? This guide will show you how to prepare a bootable Ubuntu Live USB in Windows 10.
What is a Live Ubuntu USB?
An Ubuntu Live USB lets you boot and run Ubuntu operating system from a USB drive. You do not need to install Ubuntu on your computer. With the help of Live USB, you can try Ubuntu on your computer without installing it or you can also use the Live USB to back up data from an unbootable Windows 10 PC.
Create Ubuntu Live USB in Windows 10
There are multiple applications out there to create Ubuntu Live USB. In this guide, we are using the popular Rufus software. The software is free, fast, and easy-to-use as well.
Complete the steps given below to make your Ubuntu Live USB.
Step 1: The first step is to download the Ubuntu Desktop ISO, if not done already. Visit the official Ubuntu download page and get the latest version of Ubuntu Desktop. As of writing this article, 20.04.2.0 is the newest version, and its size is 2.7 GB.
Step 2: Once you have the Ubuntu ISO image, get the Rufus software from this page. As you might know by now, Rufus (free) is the best-in-class bootable USB-making utility out there for Windows. It can be used to prepare the bootable USB of Windows and Linux versions.
As we are using the Rufus just once, get the portable version (does not require an installation) from this official download page.
Step 3: Connect the USB drive that you intend to use as the Ubuntu Live USB. Back up or move all data from the connected USB drive as it will be erased before transferring files from the Ubuntu ISO.
Step 4: Run the Rufus software. Once running, it will automatically detect and select the connected USB drive. If you have multiple USB drives connected, select the USB drive that you want to make it as Ubuntu Live.
Next, in the Boot selection section, click on the Select button, browse to the Ubuntu ISO file, select the same and then click the Open button.
Now, if you are using Ubuntu 19 or later version, you will see a new section called Persistent partition size upon selecting the Ubuntu ISO image.
What is a persistent partition?
Generally, when you shut down Ubuntu or any other Linux distros running from a USB drive (Live USB), all changes or saved files will be deleted. However, while using an Ubuntu Live USB with a persistent partition, you can save files and even update many Ubuntu apps to the latest version. The persistent partition is used to save files and changes. Ubuntu Live USB with a persistent partition works more or less like a proper Ubuntu installation. It is just that you cannot update the operating system.
We recommend you create a persistent partition if you plan to use the Ubuntu Live USB for a long time without installing it on your PC. To create a persistent partition, move the slider in the Persistent partition size section. If your intention of making the Live USB is to try Ubuntu for a short time, you can ignore the persistent partition section.
Step 5: In the Partition scheme section, select MBR or GPT depending on your PC’s type, and then select UEFI (non CSM) or BIOS/UEFI from the Target system drop-down menu.
Step 6: Make sure that the File system is selected as FAT32. Finally, click on the Start button.
Step 7: When you get the following prompt, click on the OK button to give the Rufus tool permission to delete all data on the selected USB drive. If you have not backed up your data from the USB drive, please do so before clicking on the OK button.
Rufus might take approximately 20 minutes to prepare the Ubuntu Live USB. Once done, you will see the Ready message.
You may now connect the Ubuntu Live USB to any PC, make changes to BIOS startup settings to enable booting from USB, and then boot from the Ubuntu Live USB drive.
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